Undergraduate Courses

Courses marked * serve also as General Education requirements and are offered each semester. Most upper division courses (300 level and higher) are offered every other year or as demand warrants. Refer to the UAA 2011-2012 Catalog for course listings by semester, course prerequisites, and other considerations.

A101 Introduction to Anthropology*
Introduction to fundamentals of the four subfields of anthropology: archaeology, cultural anthropology, biological anthropology and anthropological linguistics. The course introduces basic ideas, methods and findings of anthropology.

A200 Natives of Alaska*
Introduction to culture and history of Alaska Natives. Includes environmental settings, linguistic subdivisions, traditional sociocultural organization and subsistence patterns, contact with non-Native groups, and contemporary issues, including education, politics, and law.

A202 Cultural Anthropology
Introduction to the methods, theories, and fundamental concepts in the study of cultural systems. Includes social relationships, economic organization, political systems, symbols and beliefs, and issues related to gender, power, world systems and colonialism, and the social construction of human lives.

A205 Biological Anthropology
Introduction to human behavior, genetics, classification and evolution with comparisons to other primates. Examines distribution, morphological and physiological adaptations of human populations.

A210 Introduction to Anthropological Linguistics
Introduction to concepts in anthropological linguistics. This course examines approaches to representing structures of the language of the world and such topics as folk taxonomies, typologies, kinship, communicative interaction, and language change and variation, all in relation to cultures and societies.

A211 Fundamentals of Archaeology
Introduction to basic concepts, theories, and methods of archaeology with overview of historical development and major findings. Prepares students for summer field schools and more specialized courses.

A250 The Rise of Civilization*
Survey of the emergence of civilization in human cultural development. A foundation course covering biological emergence of modern humans, appearance of complex symbolic culture, domestication, urbanization, trade, ritual and ideology, and state formation. A comparative framework is used covering primary areas of civilization—Sumeria, Egypt, China, Indus River, Mesoamerica, South America—and secondary areas, including Southeast Asia, Japan, Africa, and North America.

A270 Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Women
Surveys women cross-culturally exploring the nature of the relationship between gender and sex roles. Factors determining the status of women are sought in subsistence, mobility and access to power. Follows the female from subhuman primate, to the roles they've played as gatherers and goddesses, to movements such as the Chinese revolution and Western feminism.

A290 Special Topics in Anthropology
Special topics course of general interest in anthropology (1-3 CR).

A312 North American Archaeology
Tracing human developments in the New World North of Mexico up to European contact.

A324 Psychological Anthropology
History, major theories, methods, debates and findings in the intersection of the disciplines of anthropology and psychology regarding the investigation of human psychology in diverse cultural settings. Topics to be covered include: early approaches to the field of culture and personality; exploration of the effects of culture on human emotion, motivation, cognition, notions of the self, culture and mental health/mental disorder, gender, altered states of consciousness, dreams, and culture change.

A325 Cook Inlet Anthropology
Study of the peoples and cultures of the Native, Russian and American periods of the Cook Inlet region. Includes original archaeological studies and ethnohistoric documents.

A330 Ancient Civilizations of Mexico and Guatemala
Study of the origin, development and collapse of prehistoric cultural systems in Mexico and Guatemala. Includes basic description and theoretical analysis of different cases.

A333 Peoples and Cultures of Southeast Asia
Cultural variation and unifying traditions of Southeast Asian peoples, including their prehistory, early cultural influences, effects of European contact, major cultural traditions and selected current issues.

A335 Native North Americans
Traditional cultures of Native North Americans, effects of contact with Europeans and contemporary adaptations.

A336 Peoples and Cultures of South America
Cultural traditions of South American peoples, including origins, prehistory, languages, biological and cultural affiliations, effects of European contact, historical transformations, contemporary adaptations, and current issues.

A350 Survey of the Primates
Introduction to the biology and behavior of nonhuman primates.

A354 Culture and Ecology
Anthropological approaches to the relationships between cultural and ecological systems. Culture as an adaptive system and the role of various cultural subsystems in different adaptations. Application of ecological concepts to human societies; impacts of environmental change on human societies, and impacts of human societies on environments; ethnoecology and traditional ecological knowledge of indigenous communities; values of nature among Western and non-Western societies; and political ecology in relation to the juxtaposition of indigenous peoples within contemporary nation-states.

A360 Anthropology of Art
History, major theories, debates, and findings in the intersection of the disciplines of anthropology and art regarding the investigation of visual representations and aesthetics across cultures, and the impacts of globalization and tourism on indigenous art. Study of cultural goals, production, care, and duration of pictorial representation from multiple perspectives.

A361 Language and Culture
Study of the relationship between language and culture with coverage of such topics as language variation, meaning in culture, taxonomies, and phonemic principles.

A365 Modern Human Biological Diversity
Survey of modern human biological variation in an evolutionary perspective. Comparison of the differences (and similarities) within and between modern human populations and the distribution of those differences.

A371 Selected Topics in Anthropology
Topic varies (1-3 CR).

A375 Introduction to Cultural Resource Management
Practical aspects of cultural resource management, from evaluating cultural resources and the appropriate laws to ethical conduct, mapping, and resume writing.

A400 Anthropology of Religion
Descriptive and comparative study of religious phenomena in traditional societies including myth, ritual, magic, witchcraft, and shamanism.

A410 History of Anthropology
Development of the science of anthropology, stressing the leaders in the field and the theories developed.

A413 Peopling of the Americas
Critical analysis of the literature concerning the origins of the first Americans, the timing of the earliest migrations across the Bering Land Bridge, and the adaptations developed by early peoples in the Americas from 12,000 to 8,000 years ago. Included is a detailed analysis of relevant archaeological sites as well as linguistic and biological data pertaining to Native American origins.

A415 Applied Anthropology
The methods, theory, and history of the application of cultural anthropology to sociocultural issues and problems with an emphasis on the circumpolar north.

A416 Arctic Archaeology
Origins and development of the prehistoric cultures of northern North America and adjacent northeast Asia.

A425 Archaeology of Identity
Examination of gender, age, social status, and ethnicity using archaeological data.

A427 Ethnohistory of Alaska Natives
Examines major changes in Alaskan Native societies from contact through 1940 including initial contacts, disease, trade, warfare, education, missionization, economic development, and political mobilization. Integrates different sources of information including oral traditions, historical narratives, government documents, and archeological evidence.

A429 Contemporary Alaska Native Society, 1940-Present
Examines continuity and change in Alaska Native society from 1940 to present covering militarization, Alaska statehood, Alaska Native Land Claims, subsistence, tribal movements, cultural revitalization, and impacts of state and federal policies; regional, economic, political, and cultural changes addressed, and key events and players discussed.

A430 Research Methods in Cultural Anthropology
Modes of scientific data gathering, analysis, and interpretation related to sociocultural systems. Includes the logic of scientific inquiry, research design, data recording, data manipulation, field work strategies, ethnographic and report writing, ethics in social science research, and grant proposal preparation.

A431 Field Methods in Archaeology
Introduction to basic techniques of archaeological data recovery and recording, laboratory processing, and preliminary analysis of archaeological materials (1-8 CR).

A432 Hunting and Gathering Societies
Cross-cultural analysis of hunting and gathering societies, including their prehistory, subsistence, demography, economic and political organization, social structure, and ideology, with special attention given to contemporary issues such as gender roles and aboriginal land rights.

A434 Peoples and Cultures of Northeast Asia
Examines cultural traditions of the indigenous peoples of Northeast Asia (Siberia, the Russian Far East, Mongolia, Manchuria, Korea, Japan), including their origins, prehistory, languages, biological affiliations, historical transformations, contemporary cultures, and current problems.

A436 Aleut Adaptations
Intensive study of traditional and post-contact Aleut culture. Includes origins, prehistory, biological and cultural adaptations. Also considers contemporary Aleut social, economic and political status.

A437 Eskimo Adaptations
Eskimo peoples of the circumpolar north devoted primarily to Alaskan groups including Inupiaq, Alutiiq, and Yup'ik (including Siberian Yup'ik). Includes environment, language, social organization, subsistence patterns, contact with non-Native peoples, art and architecture, and contemporary issues.

A438 Tlingit and Haida Adaptations
Examines the adaptations of the Tlingit and Haida Indians to the northeastern Pacific Coast of North America. The course is divided into precontact, traditional, and ethnohistoric periods covering the time from earliest occupation of the region up to 1900. System comparison and contrast of the ecological, social, ceremonial, and cultural characteristics of each society as well as responses to Euroamerican contact.

A439 Athapaskan Adaptations
An analysis of traditional and contemporary cultures and history of the northern Athapaskan speakers of the boreal forest of interior Alaska and northwestern Canada. Emphasizes environmental adaptations, commonalities and variations in cultural patterning, the impact of interactions with neighboring peoples including Europeans, and culture change over time.

A445 Evolution of Humans and Disease
Evolution of human response to disease: evolution of disease response to humans. Interrelationships of human behavior, biology, and disease. Paleopathological diagnosis.

A450 Human Evolution
Intensive study of the last four million years of human evolution. Emphasizes evolutionary theory and the analysis and interpretation of fossil hominids.

A455 Medical Anthropology
Study of the relationship of human culture to health and disease. Includes ancient disease and impact on human evolution, interrelationship between biology and culture, alternative health systems, and applicability to contemporary problems.

A457 Food and Nutrition: An Anthropological Perspective
Relationship of human culture to food and nutrition. Includes the history of human diet and its relationship to biological and cultural evolution, contemporary human nutrition in cross-cultural perspective, dietary adequacy and nutritional pathology, food-getting and food-preparation technology, and relationship between food and population.

A460 Peace, War, and Violence: An Anthropological Perspective
A critical evaluation of the archaeological and ethnographic record concerning violence, warfare, and peace-making both within and between human societies. Biological, ecological, cultural, and psychological theories of violence and warfare are considered, and the consequences of violence and warfare for human societies are assessed. Various social, political, symbolic, and ritual contexts for both peace-making and legitimization of individual and group violence are considered. Levels and types of violence in band, tribal, chiefdom, and state-level societies are considered, including ethnocide, genocide, and terrorism in contemporary global conflicts.

A464 Culture and Globalization
Explores the relationship between culture and globalization. Examines global capitalism and ethnographic experiences in the workplace; in the context of transnational migration and diasporas; and through the influence of new information technologies and media on values, beliefs, and practices.

A476 Ethical Issues in Archaeology
Examination of the ethical issues that confront archaeologists, and the responsibilities they have to the public, the discipline, their colleagues, and members of the cultures with whom they are working.

A480 Analytical Techniques in Archaeology
Methods and techniques of description, classification, and analysis of archaeological data. Laboratory work with archaeological specimens and data is emphasized. The focus of this class will alternate to cover the following topics:

  • Zooarchaeology: Methods and techniques for, and theoretical approaches to, the description, analysis, and interpretation of animal bone assemblages from archaeological sites. Includes identification and quantification of animal remains, paleoenvironmental and dietary reconstruction, seasonality of site occupation, hunting and herding strategies, and the role of animals in the economy and ideology of human societies.

  • Lithic Technology: Analysis of stone tool assemblages from archaeological sites, focusing on tool manufacture, use, and discard processes. Includes tool replication as part of learning the manufacturing process.

  • Human Osteology: Human skeletal identification, description, and analysis. Methods and techniques of the applications of human osteology, including paleopathology, bioarchaeology, and forensic anthropology. Includes identification and analysis of age, sex, and population attributes from human skeletal remains. Lecture and laboratory format.

A481 Museum Studies in Anthropology

History and practice of anthropology in museums. Anthropological and metaphysical dimensions of museums and material culture; the history of ethnographic collecting and research (particularly in North America); critical theory and practice of exhibitions and cultural representation; repatriation and indigenous museums in historical context.

A482 Historical Archaeology
An examination of the field of historical archaeology, the place of historical archaeology within the larger discipline of anthropological archaeology, the history of research on historical sites, the nature of historical data, the uses of non-documentary historical data, and ethnoarchaeology.

A490 Selected Topics in Anthropology
Topics in anthropology presented by members of the professional community (1-3 CR).

A490 Landscape Archaeology
Archaeological approaches to the concepts, theories, and methods of landscape archaeology, a field engaging with the diverse meanings of landscape, be it a specific land tract, expansive vista, or way of seeing the world. Course tracks historical developments and reviews core archaeological contributions to the study of space and place .

A490 Archaeological Surveying and Illustration
Practical instruction in how archaeologists sample, record, and display spatial data. Examines key frameworks of spatial analysis and provides students with field experience in recording archaeological sites and instruction in producing publication-quality illustrations.

A490 Archaeology of Colonialism
Traces colonialism as a global historical process developing over the last several centuries. Investigates how archaeologists view colonialism as an instigator of culture change and as a process embedded deeply within the discipline.

A495 Practicum in Anthropology
Application of practical anthropological skills learned under the supervision of a professional anthropologist (1-3 CR).

A499 Senior Thesis in Anthropology
Independent library, laboratory, or field research in anthropology resulting in a substantial, thesis-quality paper.